tv [untitled] November 22, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm PST
from areas such as the marina green to washington square park to sunset playground, all a moe square, civic center, bernal heights to right here in balboa park, this project is going to touch parks and plazas across all of san francisco in every corner of our city. san francisco has been a leader in our technology community and our technology economy across our country and now we get to continue to play a role in being a leader bringing technology solutions to improve the lives of our residents here in our city. it's been a privilege to work on this project and to lead this effort the last two years and look forward to bringing the broader vision of free wi-fi across san francisco in the next few years with all the partners behind me today. this has been a strong collaboration on behalf of a lot of partners. in particular, google, sf city,
our recreation and park department as well as our department of technology, and i want to thank all of those involved. this project started a little over two years ago with a conversation i had with an old family friend from google. and i want to take a moment to thank the entire google team that worked on this project. it's been two years, so, it's touched a lot of desks and had a lot of approvals and in particular want to thank veronika bell who is here from google for stepping p. up. google is providing a financial gift of $600,000 to turn this into a reality. this is with the recreation and park department. i want to thank phil ginsberg, katy, so many people from the rec and park team that really brought this project forward. we selected locations throughout san francisco on a number of levels. first of all, we wanted to make sure that we continue to bridge our digital divide that exists not only throughout our country, but here in san
francisco, to place free wi-fi networks in under served communities and across different parts of san francisco. but also to make sure that we provide wi-fi access in some of the most heavily trafficked parks and plazas in our city so we can have the greatest impact throughout our great city. i want to thank sf city for their strong partnership in this project. we started working together a little over a year ago. they are not only the leading effect knowledge jai voice in san francisco, but they really stepped up to the plate to be the project manager here who are going to oversee the installation of this project. and i want to thank in particular alex turk for his leadership during this effort. i certainly want to thank our department of technology and its new leader mark tuitu for also stepping up to the plate. mark is such a visionary and i think we have years of great things to come out of our department of technology and this is just the first step. and lastly i want to thank my
staff and in particular wherever margo is, mar co-kelly. -- margo kelly. margo spent the last two years quarterbacking this project. she spent so many hours of her life dedicate today bringing this to the residents of san francisco and we shall all be incredibly thankful. the benefits of free wi-fi in san francisco are many. not only will it further open up our parks and our city to innovation, to education, and includetionthv i. for all san francisco residents, but it's also as i mentioned before a significant step towards bridging our digital divide in our city. it provides local groups and community residents access to the internet they might not have had before, as well for our rec and park department as phil knows all too well many rec centers still use dial up service. when we think about registering our children for camps and play
grounds, what we need to do in our daily lives, but also our government on a daily basis to use technology, this will be an incredible boone to our rec and park department and something we should all be very excited about. in terms of the details of the gift, google is providing a $600,000 financial gift to our city with no strings attached. i think a lot of the prior debate around free wi-fi in san francisco that never moved forward was because of different questions about business models or so forth, to emphasize this is a free gift of financial benefit to the city of san francisco with no strings attached. the money will come through sf city which will manage the installation of the wi-fi network from beginning to end, and our department of technology will accept that gift on behalf of the city and county of san francisco. and ultimately rec and park will be the host of the wi-fi network on their properties. and at the end of the day, it's going to be all san francisco residents who benefit from this. after going through all the
necessary steps in city hall, the timing right now is that we believe installation will start in december of this year and should be completed by the spring of next year. so, this is going to be a project that will become reality very, very soon for the residents of san francisco. again, on a personal level, i'm incredibly proud to have led this project over the last two years. it's very gratifying that when you see an idea from the initial conversation to the project itself to now bring it to reality, to a city and park where i used to play ball in high school, to announce a project, this is something i've been incredibly proud to work on and something we started years ago and finally bringing to reality today. i again want to thank everybody who has been involved. this has been a complete team effort. and certainly want to thank mayor lee for his support during this process. mayor lee has been an incredible friend to our technology community as doing incredible things for our great city.
and, mayor lee, i want to thank you and introduce our great mayor, mayor ed lee. (applause) >> thank you, mark. welcome, everybody, to balboa park. and i know we have a couple of hosts and i want to meet and recognize of course our recreation and park department. phil is here. he'll speak in a minute. also recognizing john avalos, our supervisor for this district. but often a voice at the board in this city about issues of equity, and that is why i think it's important that we announced it at a place like balboa park. i live here just literally two minutes away, so, i often see this park completely crowded with so many families, especially with all the great improvements that rec and park has put in, in collaboration with the supervisor, because i know that some of his discretionary funding has often gone in to support efforts here and, of course, across the street with the challenges of
the -- both the bart and the muni station. but it is all about our neighborhoods. and i go back to what supervisor farrell said, and i want to again thank and appreciate supervisor farrell, his staff margo kelly, another great effort. this is what innovation does in the city. it gets everybody to actually work at even higher levels in government in a public-private partnership with companies like google and all the rest of the wonderful members of sf city to do what we can do and to do more than we think we can. in order to bring benefits, bring equity, bridge not only the digital divide, but perhaps bring the whole innovative spirit to every community in san francisco. this is what i think this wi-fi effort of our 31 parks is saying. and the nice thing about it is that when you study what we're going to do here and accomplish
with the 31 parks, and that we along with our technology partners, our communications partners, our department leaders, new ones as well as old ones, are saying this is just the beginning. this is literally the beginning of a continued effort to innovate, innovate, and innovate. and i like what mark said. not only are there no strings attached. really the benefits are targeted at our residents and our visitors, but that the only thing we're going to see is wireless connected to our fiber. we're learning that. we're learning that our fine and some of the backbones that we've always had to depend on can be improved on. i have to admit, the new director will also tell you we are behind. i call our self-the innovation
capital of the world, but we're behind in many ways and we need to catch up. we need to do more, but sometimes the funding wasn't there and it costs more than we think and we're trying to figure things out and trying to get as modern as fast as we can. and this is where i think that relationship with the private sector, particularly with our technology and innovative companies in san francisco is so important to us, that we gain a knowledge and a confidence that we can improve city government services, and also at the same time when we get wi-fi here, not only will the kids that play and visit here and utilize the services here will they have a better experience, but our seniors, people who don't have access at home will come here and visit. they'll take advantage of it as well. and this is why the list of 31
sites that you've been given are really important because they represent a lot of communities where if we just concentrated on the things we know about, they would not get the service, i think, in a valuable time. this city has always been and i will continue with the board of supervisors in collaboration with them, with leadership of supervisor farrell and avalos to make sure that all of our communities get taken care of, that they all get connected up, they also experience the innovative spirit of the city. and that we do it in except ration that while technology companies are incredibly successful, challenged as well as successful in the san francisco and bay area, we take the opportunity every moment to say what else can we do to help our residents, help our citizens. and this is another great example of it, but i tell you, it's just the beginning. we have many more parks, many more plazas. we have corridors of our city
yet to be connected up so that when anybody comes in to the city, whether they're visiting from another state or whether they're from another country, they'll know that this city reflects the innovative spirit when they arrive at the airport, when they arrive at the port or they arrive on muni. they'll know we're all connected up. so, again, i want to say thank you to supervisor farrell and his staff for shepherding this, for all the departments that have worked collaboratively with google and our sf city, our citizens initiative for technology and innovation. they are an incredible group of people. and, by the way, i've been told now they sport 600 members and they're still growing. i wouldn't be surprised that they will now comprise the majority of the over 1800 technology firms that exist in san francisco. and they want to do more and
they want to join all of our neighborhoods to do more to improve life in our city for everybody. so, thank you to everyone on this wonderful effort. now, may i present to you the host for district 11 and someone who we were commenting earlier he will be signing the budget in the next few hours. he was the budget chair years ago and mark, of course, was the budget chair this year. i want to again thank supervisor avalos and supervisor farrell for their wonderful leadership continued here. now the supervisor of district 11, john avalos. (applause) >> thank you, mr. mayor. thank you for being here. thank you for your help on the budget as well. your office did the lion's share of the work putting the budget together. i want to thank supervisor farrell for his work on the budget. we'll be talking about that later today. but also really putting his
relationships in order here to serve all of san francisco and serve, of course, this park as part of that effort. this park is actually very exciting to me. i have a great deal of pride about how the neighbors came together to really advocate for this park to make great changes here. the playground that's behind me is a big part of that effort. it came in different phases. ball street park, skate park envisioned by the neighbors as well. wi-fi is icing on the cake. so, we know that our city dollars can't always stretch the way we want them to, and we look to our partners in business to be able to provide a helping hand at times. and this is a good, this is a good effort. it's a good project to be able to do that, especially that we have no strings attached, that this is a gift that's actually coming to residents in san francisco that has a benefit that maximizes the benefit to
residents. i'm really glad that we have that, private project moving across the city and this park. so, i just want to thank supervisor mark farrell for his great work. it's been a really good couple months for me working with him on the budget and seeing this project come into fruition, to know that he presents some really great leadership here in san francisco. and more to come i'm sure. thank you for being here. i'm actually going to be introducing our illustrious general manager of the rec and park department, mr. phil ginsberg. (applause) >> illustrious? thank you, john. illustrious? it's a great day for parks and for park users. so, we're thrilled. we get to be the beneficiaries of all this hard work and all this partnership. and it is appropriate that we're here at balboa park. mark, john, and the mayor all talked about the improvements that have happened in this really, really important piece
of open space. it's a dense neighborhoodv. it's in a transit corridor. and thanks to partnership and thanks to community support and thanks to the leadership of our elected officials we've made some incredible improvements here in the last few years. behind us, our new playground thanks to the support of the trust for public land. behind all of you is an incredible new skateboard park which is both a public -- another public-private partnership partially funded with bond funds. behind us even further is balboa pool which thanks to the 2012 parks bond will be renovated with a state-of-the-art swimming pool in a few years. the theme here is meeting evolving community needs. skateboarding has become more popular. the needs of our aquatics programs is changing. the needs of our playground is evolving and so, too, is technology. technology has a very important place in park and park systems and we're absolutely thrilled to welcome the park scape community. parks are democratic. parks create opportunity and
accessibility for everyone. and to have wi-fi in parks and to have the technological investment that will allow neighbors to come and do things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do here, to learn, to read, to listen to music, we've taken a lot of steps in the last few years to become -- we're marching towards becoming the most economically robust parks program in america. we had a cell phone app, parka meanttionv, park hours, park programs. we can now register online and having wi-fi in our parks will make it easier for park users and frankly our staff to deliver the programs and services that the public expects in our open space. so, we're thrilled ~. government can't do it alone any more, so, this is really about partnership. we're so thankful to google and veronika, thank you for hanging with us. thank you to sf city. a big thanks to mark,
supervisor farrell for stewarding this. and also a big thanks to the mayor who has really given us room to be innovative, room to pursue public private partnerships and has really supported innovation in our parks. and, john, thank you for hosting us here. supervisor avalos has been an incredible advocate for our neighborhood parks and one of the things great about this gift, this is not just going to parks frequented by tourists or destination parks. this is a benefit that is going into our neighborhoods. so, we're really thrilled. the last folks i want to thank are my own staff, katy, [speaker not understood]. these are projects that actually take work and we're -- i'm very proud and appreciative of my own staff's help in delivering this. so, a great day for parks. and i now get to introduce one more very important partner, mark tuitu who is head of the department of technology has brought an infusion of energy into the notion of innovation
and partnership. so, mark, come on up. (applause) >> good morning. it's very exciting to be part of the reigniting of our sf connectivity effort. when i took the job three months ago, mayor lee challenged me to simplify, accelerate, and bring the private sector experience to, you know, bettering the architecture, infrastructure of the city. and, yes, mayor lee is right, we are behind in some ways, but the beauty is that we are ahead in many ways. and there are plenty of opportunities to leverage our infrastructure throughout the city to bring pre-wi-fi to our citizens. now, of course, when you're new in the -- any city company, one important thing is the budget. so, thank you, supervisor
farrell, for saving me time and accelerating the effort because with thanks to the leadership of the past few years and the generosity of google, i think we have -- we can jump start this whole process and deliver results fast in ways that will hopefully make you forget the past. i also want to acknowledge a couple of the [speaker not understood]. mike mccarthy and joseph john. we're going to be partnering with sf city and phil ginsberg, margo and all the people that have been involved in this to make it a resounding success. and i think that mayor lee, it by this time next year when you look back, i would say that we will not be in the past any more, mayor lee.
i think we'll be ahead and leading by example. so, i would like to introduce alex turk from sf city. (applause) >> thank you, mark. thank you. it's a pleasure to be here. you know, every issue needs a champion and there's no doubt that when supervisor farrell approached me a year ago and sf city, he had conviction and he had purpose around getting this done and succeeding where others had failed. and also had an idea about crawling before you walk, about finding a way that we could create access throughout the 11 supervisorial districts, throughout different socioeconomic communities in san francisco, providing opportunity. and it was something where he had said hello. it meets the mission of sf city which is essentially to engage our member companies in innovative solutions, historic problems facing the city. and we're certainly glad to be a partner. it is a great day for parks, but it's a great day for san francisco. we are lucky to be san
franciscans to have great leadership. and as someone who has worked within city government and has seen how the sausage is made, per se, we're lucky to have a supervisor like mark farrell who has vision, who has dedication, a mayor who is very open to private-public partnership and innovation, department heads and leaders like phil ginsberg at rec and park and companies like google who care deeply about communities not just here locally in san francisco, but across the globe. we're proud to be a partner. proud to be here today and look forward to working on this, you know, in the years to come. so, with that i'll hand it back to our supervisor mark farrell. (applause) >> so, thanks, everyone for being here. i want to thank everyone who has been involved, as you can hear from everyone who has spoken. it takes a village here in san francisco and it took the collaboration of so many people both inside and outside of government to make this reality. we're all very proud to be here today. and with that, would certainly open up to questions if anyone has them for the next few
minutes. >> [speaker not understood] talking about the broader vision over the next two years, what do you envision? and how does public private partnership as well in the future? >> i'll turn the speaker from my perspective. i think this is a great first step. as alex mentioned, this is let's find a project in san francisco that we can bite off, that we can make sure we get it done right. we took two years to do it and working so closely with google, with sf city, with department heads and the mayor's team to make sure we did it the right way and use it as a model going forward in san francisco. i know that our different department heads and mark perhaps have different perspective, but there are a lot of things in the works in san francisco to make not only in wi-fi, but other technology projects to bring to the residents of our city that the mayor certainly has taken a lead on as well and played an integral role in this. public private partnerships are a way to make this happen. special thanks to google for making this a public private
partnership we can be proud of here in san francisco. this is truly a gift and, again, we say that with no strings attached. and that makes a big difference to the residents of san francisco and for us as elected leaders implementing those projects. it makes it a lot easier for us to get them done. >> mayor, [speaker not understood]. >> as i said, it's a good beginning. and of all people, both mark tuitu, phil ginsberg and others know it's a constant investment in technology that we have to make. and every company knows this as well as government and we're going to make -- you know, this is part of our infrastructure now. and, so, i've been an infrastructure mayor. i've been part of that infrastructure. it's not just freeways and bridges. it's telecommunication, information, infrastructure that we have to constantly invest in. you asked earlier what the
vision was. you know, for me i've always had a very strong vision that every child that is here in san francisco, every school, every educational institution should be at its highest level of skill setting for the 21st century of a city that is an innovation capital of the world. that means we have a lot of work to get done in our schools. we have a lot of work to get done in every corridor, every neighborhood. we still have a serious digital divide in the city and in the bay area, and we're going to get everybody up to speed so that everyone who lives here and wants to be here can also succeed in technology is going to be a key to it in every single industry. whether it's tourism, biotech lifesciences or technology itself. >> [speaker not understood]. >> oh, absolutely, that was the
whole reason why i touted that we have 600 members of sf city. alex, i think maybe in a year we'll see 800 members of sf city. there is 1,800 technology firms in san francisco. it continues to grow. they employ over 45,000 people. and i think people want to be here because they want to continue innovating with us. at the same time, as government and as service providers, we're going to continue asking for help from the private sector and be our partners. and i think that's going to help us with infrastructure as well as maintenance and services. >> as you know, [speaker not understood]. what exactly did you mean by that? >> well, i think we will always have a relationship with our business community. i go to them when i need to create 6,000 jobs for our kids in the summer.
i'm backed up by the board of supervisors for that. we have very serious needs in the city, and we don't have all the resources. so, we hope that there will be a very good relationship that's established between the private sector and the public sector. having said that, on issues like providing free wi-fi, when we say no strings, it's kind of like the past conversations we had. we didn't want any inappropriate advertising on things or things that we felt were of value to us that we wanted kids and others to be able to have a free access to without, you know, the -- maybe the dressing up sometimes that we see happening in the marketing world. those will be ongoing discussions that we have and these are discussions that we always have with our business partners, is how could we do it this way so that we provide, you know, the right message that we all wanted to send. to me, it is all about messaging.
and i know businesses need help from government as well. i've been in those discussions where a lot of them said, hey, you're taxing us to death. we did a big payroll tax revision as a result of that. there is just simply -- i think a relationship where there's no quid pro quo, we do it for good policy reasons that we articulate and are clear about. and that's the way we should be running government. that's also the way we should have that clean relationship with businesses. >> mayor, [speaker not understood]. >> yeah, i mean that's why we hired mark tuitu for [speaker not understood]. my competitive spirit with mayor bloomberg in new york, rahm emanuel in chicago, we're always exchanging information about you got this, you got that. our staffs and our department heads do the same.
, and so, we're always saying, they did this. how come we can't do that? and the message gets shared with neighborhood leaders as well ~. so, i get this a lot from neighborhood leaders, how come we don't have wi-fi in all of our parks? how come you always concentrate on golden gate, for example, but not on balboa? these are the kind of things i think we're wanting to make a statement on. i think, for example, our police department a we're working on with technology, another good example. one of these days we're going to have officers be able to dot reports while they're in their vehicles in the streets rather than coming back to their stations and spending 2 or 3 hours trying to do all the reports ~. we're working on that right now. but, you know, i think any city who needs the resources at their highest performance will look towards technology to help us reduce what we're doing today that could be done faster, quicker, and more efficiently and just as thoroughly.
>> mayor, i think you answered this already, but i didn't quite hear her question. google is going to provide the financial [speaker not understood], correct? >> yes. >> after that what happens? >> well, first of all, i think we will make whatever proper investments we will have because we will consider this to be part of the infrastructure of our parks and recreation. as we do wi-fi in neighborhood corridors, we have infrastructure there. so, when i say that we are responsible, the city is responsible for infrastructure, we will then pay to maintain that infrastructure, particularly if residents and the visitors depend upon that infrastructure to work in a certain level. having said that, it doesn't the necessarily mean that we say, okay, the general fund has got to pay for this. that is why i'm touting the membership of sf city, our technology companies. i will tout the membership of the chamber of commerce. i will tout the membership of
the community benefits district and the businesses along the corridors that we want to improve. all of them are partners to help us figure out how to maintain all the infrastructure that we want to put in when we know that the goal is improve services for the residents. so, i suggest that it isn't necessarily going to be reflected in increase to the general fund. it could be healthy relationship with business community to help us maintain that. yes. >> [speaker not understood]. >> well, i think google is happy to do this for the reasons already touted. they agree with us that wi-fi in our parks is a very important, very notable, very honorable goal to accomplish. they stepped up as